Military retirees who would like to enroll in vision and dental coverage for next year will now be able to check out all the available plans.
TRDP (TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan) ends on 31st December. The retirees who would like to maintain dental coverage must choose a plan from the options that are included in the Federal Employee Vision and Dental Insurance Program (FEDVIP).
Enrollment for the new program runs from 12th November to 10th December. If a retiree does not select a plan during that period, they will have no coverage in 2019. The only exception is a qualifying life event, such as change of employment or relocation.
Retirees can check out more information and compare plans on the FEDVIP website starting Oct. 1. How these two compare in cost and coverage depends on factors such as the beneficiary’s location and the plan they choose.
Alan Spielman, the director of health care and insurance for the Office of Personnel Management which oversees the FEDVIP programs, said that he believes that all the plans have great value.
TRDP’s premium rates are organized through a four-region structure whereby the pricing is based on the cost of living among other factors.
FEDVIP has 15 plans which are structured similarly through five rating areas. Not all plans are available in all regions; the system is zip-code based. All the plans feature a different premium price.
Many retirees under FEDVIP expect to see a decrease in their overall premium costs depending on the plan that they choose. The FEDVIP Delta Dental PPO Standard plan is quite similar to TRICARE’s current coverage which also offers Delta Dental. For this plan, the premium prices will be much lower compared to what the members pay now.
Military advocates, as well as the FEDVIP officials, said that the retirees should view the new plans as a chance to shop around and ensure that they get the coverage that works best for them. Deputy director of government relations at MOAA (Military Officers Association of America), Kathy Beasley, who works on TRICARE issues, advised members to take a multi-step approach to the new program.
She also added that the members should consult their dentists to see which FEDVIP plans they accept and compare all the plans that are available in their region.
Premiums for next year are expected to be 1.2% higher year-over-year compared to the premiums offered this year. Spielman said that this increase is the lowest that the system has seen since the mid-1900s. He also noted that for military members working with the Pentagon to experience a smooth transition, they need to communicate the changes on time. He emphasized that the population must make a choice before the deadline.
Currently, there are more than 150,000 users who have registered on the FEDVIP website to get updates as the process unfolds.
There’s a provision in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that expands FEDVIP dental plans to active-duty families, National Guardsmen and Reservists and their families, as well as military survivors, starting 2022.